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find out what's in it before it's in you.
January 21, 2006 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Find out what's in it before it's in you... using free software provided by the US Department of Agriculture's database. The information, which can be kept on a PC (Windows) or PDA (Palm OS), provides a detailed listing of nutrients (calories, protein, fat, carbs, sugars, vitamins, minerals) on almost 7,000 foods, including processed and fast foods.
posted by crunchland (19 comments total)

 
For example, a Wendy's Single hamburger with cheese has 522 calories, 35.09 grams of protein, 33.51 grams of carbs, 45.1 micrograms of selenium, 90 millegrams or cholesterol, 0.283 grams of tryptophan, etc. etc. etc. The search results are more detailed than any other software of its type that I've seen.
posted by crunchland at 10:33 AM on January 21, 2006


Naturally it's only for Windows. The feds want to be able to go in through Bill's back door to see what we've been thinking about eating. Falafel? Terrorist.
posted by squirrel at 10:45 AM on January 21, 2006


This is nifty, but I'm disappointed that the USDA has apparently never heard of pierogies.
posted by Gator at 10:50 AM on January 21, 2006


An online search is also available, squirrel.
posted by mischief at 10:55 AM on January 21, 2006


I've been using this for calculating recipes' nutritional value since my sister pointed it out. While it's never saved me from not eating something that I shouldn't have, it has allowed me to be a little more informed about what I just ate, and therefore able to feel appropriately shamed afterwards.

I've had pretty good luck finding what I was looking for, but 205 results for lamb left me a little daunted. Do I have "lamb, New Zealand, imported, frozen, loin, separable lean and fat, raw," or "lamb, New Zealand, imported, frozen, leg, whole (shank and sirloin), separable
lean and fat, trimmed to 1/8" fat, raw," or one of the other 203 choices, or what? If anything, it's taught me to pay more attention at the grocery store.
posted by cacahuete at 10:56 AM on January 21, 2006


Bah... They don't even list the Hungry Man All Day Breakfast


posted by Mr_Zero at 10:58 AM on January 21, 2006


When keying it it, the database tech probably collapsed due to a coronary just from the second-hand fat.
posted by crunchland at 11:02 AM on January 21, 2006


Here's a list of thing and how they're made, now try figuring out how to use it :D !

For instance, why is the food shown by Mr Zero delicious, nutricious , icycious and good for your health ?
posted by elpapacito at 11:04 AM on January 21, 2006


They don't seem to have chipotle burritos in their database, check out what's in your burrito at chipotlefan.

For instance, the (vegetarian) burrito I had yesterday contained 1705 calories, and 71g of fat (!!!)
posted by splatta at 11:36 AM on January 21, 2006


George Bush hates Mac people.
posted by gyc at 11:45 AM on January 21, 2006


"Free" as in beer, not as in speech.
posted by unixrat at 11:54 AM on January 21, 2006


This is nifty, but I'm disappointed that the USDA has apparently never heard of pierogies.

They can have my pierogies when they pry them from my cold, dead fingers.
posted by SteveInMaine at 12:21 PM on January 21, 2006


Once I get my personal stomach pump I won't have to worry about any of this.
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:12 PM on January 21, 2006


Naturally it's only for Windows. The feds want to be able to go in through Bill's back door to see what we've been thinking about eating. Falafel? Terrorist.

What?! Bill O'Reilly's a terrorist?!

Oh, eating falafel. Nevermind.
posted by mkhall at 3:12 PM on January 21, 2006


Thesame database is accessible/searchable through a webpage, also from the USDA. No Windows required! (This is available from the link in the FPP).
posted by dilettante at 3:37 PM on January 21, 2006


It's a great calculator if you cook a lot of your own foods and want to figure out if you're getting what you need (or if you are getting to much of things you don't need). As an aside, it's interesting that it gives nutritional information, not ingredients of processed foods. Because polysorbytalmonounchlorinatedmercuritone may cause health problems, but at least it doesn't have any calories!
posted by turtlegirl at 3:46 PM on January 21, 2006


to=too
posted by turtlegirl at 3:49 PM on January 21, 2006


You used to be able to get the databse in a raw format from the department of agriculture. I have a really old one that I used to make this web page. If they don't still distribute it, I'd be happy to put the text file up somewhere.

It's not as up-to-date as the web version that I just looked at, for example, it does not include Wendy's stuff (or much fast food at all).

I also think it's a bit crazy how in-depth they go with some products (like the lamb mentioned above). It also seemed a bit bit skewed towards commercial products. I got it and used it to integrate into my recipe software, to automatically generate nutrition data, so I just needed data for raw ingredients, mostly, a few hundred items at most.
posted by RustyBrooks at 3:51 PM on January 21, 2006


Mr_Zero : I'll see your 231% cholesterol and raise you 939% (via everywhere). Raw pork brains are in the database but I found another site with a better interface for web searches which lists a single serving (braised) as having an instant-cardiac-arrest cholesterol content of 3250%.
posted by Mr Stickfigure at 3:54 PM on January 21, 2006


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